FIFTH TRUMPET, PART 2
the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To
him was given the key to the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit,
and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and
the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. Then out of the smoke
locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of
the earth have power. They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or
any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God
on their foreheads. And they were not given authority to kill them, but to
torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion
when it strikes a man. In those days men will seek death and will not find it;
they will desire to die, and death will flee from them. The shape of the locusts
was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something
like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. They had hair like
women's hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. And they had
breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like
the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. They had tails like
scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men
five months. And they had as king
over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but
in Greek he has the name Apollyon. One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes
are coming after these things. Revelation 9:1–12.
Protestant Reformation was definitely a prophetic moving of God to recall the
visible church-at-large from total apostasy to the truth of the gospel.
Unfortunately instead of just standing on the foundation of Christ and the
Apostles, the Reformation churches chose to stand on a bottomless pit. They
chose to become the religious arms of the governments of their countries. They
devised their specific creeds, articles of confession, and catechism which in
time obscured the word of God like smoke obscuring the sun. Out of this smoke
came a swarm of locusts. These locusts are the multiplicity of different
churches formed during the Reformation.
locust is a ravenous insect that belongs to the grasshopper family. Dr. Barnes
provides us with an interesting background on the locusts of the fifth seal:
there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth. That is, they escaped from
the pit with the smoke. At first they were mingled with the smoke so that they
were not distinctly seen, but when the smoke cleared away, they appeared in
great numbers. The idea seems to be, that the bottomless pit was filled with
vapour and with those creatures, and that as soon as the gate was opened the
whole contents expanded and burst forth upon the earth. The sun was immediately
darkened and the air was full, but the smoke soon cleared away, so that the
locusts became distinctly visible.
nature of the locusts from the bottomless pit is quite different than their
natural counterparts. For one thing, they received power as scorpions. Locusts
go after herbage but these locusts were told not to harm the grass, green
things, or trees. Those things represent saved people that are not well
established in the faith. Instead, they are told to harm only men that do not
have the seal of God on their foreheads.
are arachnid creatures that are carnivores and prey on creatures called
arthropods and even mice and lizards. They have stingers in their tails that can
inject venom into a creature however they tend to use brute force rather than
venom to kill their prey. Scorpions will sting humans when threatened. While the
sting is painful, it is not lethal except in a few species of scorpions.
locusts of the pit in their scorpion character were not allowed to kill the men
that do not have the seal of God. Their purpose was only to torment them for a
period of five months.
the sixth seal we learned that the seal of God is the revelation that Jesus is
the Son of God and Savior of the world. The victims that suffer the harm of the
locust-scorpions are those that do not have an experience of salvation. This
could be unsaved people that were members of churches or it could be the masses
of humanity outside the church. Unsaved people in the churches did have
opportunity to hear the gospel taught and could respond and be saved. It seems
more likely that those without the seal of God represent the unchurched masses.
What we see here is that the Reformers and the following generations
concentrated more on consolidating their doctrinal positions and establishing
their identities in relation to the state that the unsaved masses were largely
5–6 paint a sad picture for the unsaved masses. “And they were not given
authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was
like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. In those days men will
seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee
from them.” Having been cast aside as hopeless by the Roman church,
Protestantism presented itself more as a people’s church. Those among the
unsaved masses that were interested in salvation, or seeking the death of sin in
their lives, found the Protestant churches deeply involved in establishing their
creeds, solidifying their relationships with national governments, and
disagreeing among themselves over issues of little significance. Death to sin
fled from those among the unsaved masses and they were left out in the spiritual
cold. To them this was torment, spiritual torture wanting to be saved from sin
but ignored by churches that now had light on salvation but would not bother to
reach out to them.
Mystery of the Five Months
five months are not the duration of the sounding of the fifth trumpet but lead
to its end. In using the day for a year methodology commonly used in
interpreting time symbols in the Revelation based on Ezekiel 4:4–6 we do find
an interesting coincidence. There are different methods of calculating the days
in 5 months. The most common method is using 30 to the month as did the Jews in
Jesus’s time. 30 days times 5 months equals 150 days, or 150 years in time
symbolism. However, a year has 365 days and months have 30 or 31 days except for
February. Discounting January and February which total 59 days, the next 5
months have 153 days and the following 5 months have 153 days. It would not be
unreasonable to use 153 days for the period of 5 months. Using 153 days to
symbolize 153 years.
first part of the Protestant Reformation involved churches breaking away from
Rome, stabilizing their conditions within their governments and developing their
creeds. At some point in time this came to an end. The last significant creed
developed during the Reformation was the Westminster Confession in 1647. Adding
153 years to the year 1647 comes to the year 1800 which we suggested earlier for
the beginning of the sixth seal.
of the Locusts
7 describes the locusts that came out of the pit. We recognize the locusts as
the swarm of churches that came out of the bottomless pit during the
Reformation. The Reformation was definitely a work of God through which the
truth of the gospel was restored to the visible church. The problem was that men
built their own churches around this truth and called it the church of God.
shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. The visible church is
represented as horses under the first four seals. Each of those horses had a
rider, but only the first carried its leader Jesus Christ. Notice that there are
no riders on the horses prepared for battle under the fifth trumpet. Initially
the battle was the truth of the gospel against Rome and the pope. Eventually the
battle became church identity against church identity.
horses have crowns made of something like gold and their faces were like the
faces of men. The crowns were not actually gold. The 24 elders in Revelation 4
wore crowns of gold which they cast at the feet of Christ signifying their
worship and submission to Him. While the leaders of the Reformation did their
work in worship and respect of Christ, the leadership that followed did not have
the same burden and channeled their efforts into building their churches rather
than the kingdom of God. This is why the locust/horses have faces like men;
their churches became the churches of men rather than the church of God. Their
hair was like women’s hair but they had teeth like lions. Appearing like a
woman and professing to be the bride of Christ, the real nature of
denominationalism that arose out of the Reformation was a roaring lion doing
damage and not a submissive wife.
had breastplates of iron. The breastplate protects the heart in battle and the
true Christian breastplate is the breastplate of righteousness according to
Ephesians 6:14. The creeds or breastplates of Protestantism were devised to
protect the identities of the churches formed during the Reformation. God’s
church wears the breastplate of a life made right with God and not just the
teachings of a doctrinal system.
wings made the sound of chariots and many horses. These are the armaments of a
human army and represent the human means by which churches were developed and
also had stings in their tails like scorpions. As the Reformation progressed to
its last prophetic five months it became more like the papal church it had left,
thus making it difficult for people to see the true church and the real meaning
of the gospel.
find at the end of the sounding of the fifth trumpet that the swarm of new
churches did in fact have a king, but the king was not Jesus, it was Abaddon,
Apollyon. The name means destruction. What began as the move of God on the
hearts of genuine and just men adopted the path of destruction that essentially
nullified the gospel and again hid the identity of God’s church leaving true
seekers of God disappointed and not knowing where to turn. Martin Luther, the
man God used to start the Reformation in motion saw the very real possibility of
this happening. He said in a sermon preached on May 1, 1525:
our Lord warns us here as a faithful shepherd and bishop should, that we beware,
so that, when the Gospel comes, that we hold firmly to it and not depart from
it, though it cost our life and our treasures. For it cannot be otherwise, as
the time passes than that there will be changes. Thus it will also happen with
us. God be praised; we, as well as other cities, now have the Gospel in all its
richness and purity, as men have never had it since the times of the Apostles.
But as soon as we and others, who now assist in preaching it, are no longer with
you, you will have other and false preachers, for they already begin to make
is the first woe; two more follow. What is the WHY behind the failure of the
Reformation? So much good was accomplished but what hindered the Reformation was
the failure of the Protestant churches to be the church built by Christ. The
creeds and confessions developed by the Reformation churches all contained
articles on the church that are essentially sound.
Confession 1530, Article 7.
they teach that the holy Church is to continue forever. But the Church is the
congregation of saints [the assembly of all believers], in which the Gospel is
rightly taught [purely preached] and the Sacraments rightly administered
[according to the Gospel]. And unto the true unity of the Church, it is
sufficient to agree concerning the doctrine of the Gospel and the administration
of the Sacraments. Nor is it necessary that human traditions, rites, or
ceremonies instituted by men should be alike every where, as St. Paul saith:
“There is one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all.”
Confession of Faith 1647, Chapter 25
catholic or universal Church, which is invisible, consists of the whole number
of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ
the head thereof; and it the spouse, the body, the fullness of him that filleth
all in all. The visible Church, which is also catholic or universal under the
gospel (not confined to one nation as before under the law) consists of all
those, throughout the world, that profess the true religion . . . out of which
there is no ordinary possibility of salvation. . . . There is no other head of
the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ.
117 years between the first of the confessions and the last the essential truth
of the church was clearly taught but the will and intent of the men leading
those churches failed to live up to what they taught. The spirit of destruction
loves to step in where the truth is taught and create a mess among people that
essentially believe the same things but will not come together in unity and
actually be the body of Christ, the biblical church of God.
FIVE MONTHS OF THE FIFTH TRUMPET
here and start over. This period is irregular because of FEB having 28/29
days. All other months have 30 0r 31 days.
over with regular months that have 30 or 31 days.
regular five month period has 153 days. Prophetically 153 days is 153 years.
FIFTH TRUMPET SOUNDS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION AND
COVERS THE SAME PERIOD AS THE FIFTH SEAL.
The Reformation begins with Luther’s 95 Theses.
First Protestant Creed. 67 Articles of Ulrich Zwingli.
Westminster Confession of Faith. The last Protestant Creed.
The last creed, Plus
months of the Fifth Trumpet. The time of torment, Equals
Approximate date of the opening of the Sixth Seal.
1800 Approximate date of the opening of the Sixth Seal.
Complete Sermons of Martin Luther,
Volume 2.2, Baker Books:
Grand Rapids, MI, 2000,